alice - your advice was right on! I also have a child with a disability, and I have observed many of the things you talk about at the many IEPs I've attended "on the other side of the table." Professionals need to know that parents want you to be honest about their child's challenges, but they also want to hear the positive things that you find about their child. I always try to start out my comments at the IEP with something positive about the child or a story about them that demonstrates a strength. For one thing, it really hooks the parent in and they are ready to listen to you. Parents of children with disabilities get ample opportunities to hear about the things their child can't do. Don't forget to let them know that you see the potential in their child too.
My biggest pet peeves are sidebar conversations among professionals (I want to hear EVERYTHING that's being discussed about my child) and, as Alice mentioned, those acronyms. Yes, I know what most of them are, because I'm 'in the system.' Remember: most parents are not, and we sound rude and condescending when we throw around terms and don't explain them.
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